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The Collaboration : Hollywood's Pact with Hitler - Ben Urwand

The Collaboration

Hollywood's Pact with Hitler


Published: 10th September 2013
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: To continue doing business in Germany after Hitler's ascent to power, Hollywood studios agreed not to make films that attacked the Nazis or condemned Germany's persecution of Jews. Ben Urwand reveals this bargain for the first time--a "collaboration" "(Zusammenarbeit)" that drew in a cast of characters ranging from notorious German political leaders such as Goebbels to Hollywood icons such as Louis B. Mayer. At the center of Urwand's story is Hitler himself, who was obsessed with movies and recognized their power to shape public opinion. In December 1930, his Party rioted against the Berlin screening of "All Quiet on the Western Front," which led to a chain of unfortunate events and decisions. Fearful of losing access to the German market, all of the Hollywood studios started making concessions to the German government, and when Hitler came to power in January 1933, the studios--many of which were headed by Jews--began dealing with his representatives directly. Urwand shows that the arrangement remained in place through the 1930s, as Hollywood studios met regularly with the German consul in Los Angeles and changed or canceled movies according to his wishes. Paramount and Fox invested profits made from the German market in German newsreels, while MGM financed the production of German armaments. Painstakingly marshaling previously unexamined archival evidence, The Collaboration raises the curtain on a hidden episode in Hollywood--and American--history.

About the Author

Ben Urwand is a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University.

Impeccably researched and impressively argued, Ben Urwand s gripping volume systematically reveals the way major Hollywood studios were willing to protect their financial interests in the German market by appeasing the Nazi regime. Urwand has unearthed remarkable evidence from archives in Germany and America, confirming that the road to hell was paved with a thousand concessions. Hollywood studios went to astonishing lengths not to offend or upset the Nazi regime. What began with minor adjustments to scripts eventually reached a point where projects that were unsympathetic to Germany s past or critical of the Nazis were simply never made The studios didn t just follow a policy of accommodation they became willing partners with the Nazis to reach an understanding of what could be mutually beneficial to both parties. The book is such a revelation because it goes against the grain of commonly held assumptions Urwand is particularly good at marshalling hard facts and solid evidence that builds into a horrifying indictment of studios that continued to operate in Germany throughout the first eight years of Hitler s rule Even as the full horrors of the Nazi regime became apparent to the world, Hollywood continued to offer the hand of collaboration, a fact all the more ironic considering that many of the studio bosses were Jewish This is a book that challenges every rose-tinted view of Hollywood s Golden Age. It sheds a piercing light on dark deeds and is an invaluable work of political history that has all the page-turning urgency of a thriller.--Allan Hunter"Glasgow Herald" (10/19/2013)"

ISBN: 9780674724747
ISBN-10: 0674724747
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 10th September 2013
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 16.7  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.65